Product Type: Eidos Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... colour or decoration and you need to start all over again wasting valuable time so obviously making sure the DS is calibrated before pla... more
Years of hard labour!
Cake Mania (DS)
Member Name: sirg0508
Cake Mania (DS)
Disadvantages: Not very creative, small icons,
The game is basically running a cake shop. You're a lone employee called Jill who must serve all the customers and reach a target to be able to complete each month. The profit you earn from tips and anything above the target can go towards buying new equipment for the shop to help serve customers faster and increase earnings by decorating the cakes. Unlike games like Cooking Mama you don't have to worry about ingredients or baking the cakes but head to the oven and pick the shape of the base the customer is looking for, icing it with the correct colour and any required decoration to get the sale. If the customer is left waiting too long they get frustrated, reduce their tips or even walk out of the shop before being served - some of them are very demanding! Jill's aim is to be able to afford to re-open her grandparents' cake shop which closed down and she finally manages to do after completing 4 yearly stages.
The game isn't challenging but it relies heavily on concentration. Accidently pick the wrong shape at the oven and you can waste 4 or 5 seconds baking another. Pick the wrong icing colour or decoration and you need to start all over again wasting valuable time so obviously making sure the DS is calibrated before playing will really help. If any cakes left are over by the time the shop shuts they get deducted from the total which can cause you to fail that month.
The game has a great variety of characters including boys, student, Easter Bunny, a bride, Vampire, Cupid and Santa. One of the items that can be bought is a TV to keep them entertained so you learn which TV programmes they enjoy to increase their happiness plus you can serve them cupcakes to eat while they're waiting. I like the grannies mostly because they're easily pleased with a cupcake and can be kept waiting far longer whereas the Easter Bunny is a rather angry man and the boy expects to be catered to quickly.
The graphics are not great, even if they are vibrant, and very two dimensional which isn't really a problem until it gets to picking the cake bases. When you progress through each month you then have to layer cakes and when it gets to Halloween the pumpkin base can look a lot like the square base and same again at Easter with the egg shaped cake. The game also doesn't fit the DS screen well. From serving the customers on the left, the cake decoration stations on the right can't be seen so at times I've picked up iced cakes only to remember there's already a cake there so have to put it back down to be able to serve the decorated cake to then go back and decorate the next cake. There is music to the game but it's not really anything exciting. It is slightly fast paced though and doesn't really distract from what you're doing.
After completing the 4th year of tasks Jill can finally hand her grandparents the deed to their bakery but the game doesn't end there. The game then unlocks 'Back to the Bakery' and game pretty much begins again with far fewer appliances but this time Jill's aim is to win her grandparents a holiday. Having played the first game makes this second game a lot easier but there were times where I'd bought the wrong equipment for the upcoming task, lost concentration or just not managed to reach the target.
Saving the game after each task is so important because although you get 4 or 5 lives to begin, if you do end up losing on the final life it's easy enough just to replay that level again than having to start from the beginning. The good thing about saving it too is it won't save any purchases you make before playing the next round so you may buy one thing then find out another would help more. This changes in 'Back to the Bakery' so it's worth saving each level alternately or even using all 3 save slots.
Both games have 4 years (or maybe there's only 3 in the second?) to complete with each month lasting around 5 minutes. Back to the Bakery doesn't show a map like the first game but it still works from month to month so you have a good idea of where you're at. It is probably possible to complete the whole thing in a day but I tend to switch it off when I can't pass a month, go back to it the next day and complete it easily. It's slightly anti-climatic by the end of BttB - you've worked so hard for Jill's grandparents to get their holiday and have nothing to show for it. You can go back to the save slots and replay from those or start from the beginning but there's not really any reason to try and improve. There's no multiplayer option and unless I'm just really good at it, all the high scores were my mine by the end of the game anyway.
The game did hold my attention but it just wasn't very creative. All you have to do is press the correct buttons. I did still enjoy it while it lasted though and I'm probably likely to play it again in the future but now have the option to play either game. It might have been a bit better if you could choose which character to play and customise it a little more. It does look like it's aimed at kids and is actually aimed at those 3+ but I wouldn't put adults off playing it at all unless you have other things you really should be doing. It does sound like an easy game but it is a little more than that.
Summary: Make & decorate cakes and serve them to demanding customers
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